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Category Archives: Practice Issues

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If You Agree that Alimony Terminates on Cohabitation, It Really Terminates on Cohabitation, Even If the Cohabitation Ends

Posted in Alimony, Modification, Practice Issues

The impact of cohabitation on alimony is often one of the most difficult clauses to negotiate in a marital settlement agreement.  The payor always wants the agreement to read that alimony shall terminate upon cohabitation, while the recipient, if they are allowed to agree to anything, might agree to allow the payor to seek to… Continue Reading

The Arbitration “Rules of Engagement”

Posted in Mediation/Arbitration, Practice Issues

The recent Appellate Division case of Sirigotis v. Sirigotis, although unpublished (non- precedential), provides a great reminder of how important it is to know the “rules of engagement”. In Sirigotis, the parties were able to resolve a majority of their issues by consent but agreed to submit the remaining unresolved issues to “final and binding”… Continue Reading

Filling in the Gaps: The Addition of “Criminal Coercion” as a Predicate Act Under the NJ Prevention of Domestic Violence Act

Posted in Domestic Violence, Practice Issues

In August 2015, the New Jersey Legislature formally amended the Prevention Against Domestic Violence Act (N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19(a)) to include the predicate act of criminal coercion as a fifteenth form of domestic violence (in addition to: homicide, assault, terroristic threats, kidnapping, criminal restraint, false imprisonment, sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, lewdness, criminal mischief, burglary, criminal trespass,… Continue Reading

Another Reminder that Parent Coordinators Are Not Replacements for Judges

Posted in Custody, Modification, Practice Issues, Visitation/Parenting Time

Whether it is because of busy dockets or the fact that the issues could be hard to decide, especially without a plenary hearing, the use of parent coordinators (PC) began becoming more frequent about 10 years ago.  Sometimes it was by consent but other times, it was foisted upon warring parties whether they wanted it or… Continue Reading

The Forgotten Insurance: Life Insurance to Secure Alimony & Child Support

Posted in Alimony, Child Support, Divorce, Interspousal Agreements, Modification, Practice Issues, Property Settlement Agreements

When we all think of insurance, we often think of medical insurance, car insurance and homeowner’s insurance as these seem to be the necessary and everyday types of insurance. Life insurance, which for some can be synonymous with high premiums, is one of the first costs to go when seeking to reduce your budget. I… Continue Reading

Baby, Now You Really Can Drive My Car: Questions About Child Support & Driving Expenses, Answered

Posted in Child Support, Modification, Practice Issues

Ah, the moment you have been waiting for – nay, dreaming of – has arrived:  your child has gotten his or her driver’s license!  It was a long time coming, after 17 long, hard years of carpooling to school, arguing with the other parents about who is going to pick the kids up from their… Continue Reading

Divorcing from Your Spouse’s Student Loan Debt

Posted in Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues

I recently came across an article, Getting Financially Naked with Your Partner, by Erin Lowry, that got me thinking about a question that is bound to arise more and more in this practice.  Millennials, as a generation, are beset by student loan debt at the highest levels in history.  As they start marrying and, as a corollary, divorcing, a… Continue Reading

Financial Abuse: The Invisible Wounds of Domestic Violence

Posted in Domestic Violence, Practice Issues

When most people hear the horrific phrase “domestic violence”, they think only of the physical abuse or threats of physical abuse inflicted upon another; however, financial or economic abuse exists in approximately 98% of all domestic violence situations, according to the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Financial or economic abuse is defined as “making… Continue Reading

A Tale of Due Process…

Posted in Adoption, Practice Issues

Although most people are familiar with the concept of “due process” in the criminal context, we sometimes forget that due process also extends to civil litigation. “Due process” is basically the opportunity to be heard at a “meaningful time and in a meaningful manner”. Typically, whenever a litigant is seeking relief from the Court, a… Continue Reading

The Lawyer the Liar

Posted in Practice Issues

The way things have gone lately, I thought it was time to reprise this blog post, originally published in April of 2014.  It is unfortunate for the system and the litigants to have to endure the misrepresentations by people who should know better. I like a good joke as much as the next person.  That… Continue Reading

One Family, One Judge? Perhaps Not in the Context of an Act of Domestic Violence

Posted in Divorce, Domestic Violence, Practice Issues

We’ve all heard the maxim “One Family, One Judge” in the context of matrimonial matters. The underlying premise is that one judge in the Family Part should hear the entire case because that judge is intimately familiar with the facts of the case, has observed the parties and their demeanors and perhaps has made credibility… Continue Reading

Beware Legal Whack A Mole

Posted in Practice Issues

Sometimes, instead of practicing family law, it feels like we are playing a game of legal Whack A Mole.  You know what Whack A Mole is, right?  For those who don’t, it is the carnival game where the player has a mallet and has to hit the mole that pops up.  As soon as you… Continue Reading

War of the Resolutions: A Cautionary Tale

Posted in Divorce, Practice Issues

Yesterday, Eric Solotoff blogged about the phenomenon of the New Years Resolution Divorce.  It happens.  I encourage you to read that post prior to the one below because it provides some useful background on the issue: It’s the New Year. A time filled with resolutions, promises to change, and commitments to begin anew.  Your marriage… Continue Reading

“Conscious Uncoupling”: An Ode to a Mediated Divorce

Posted in Alimony, Child Support, Custody, Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Mediation/Arbitration, Practice Issues, Privacy and Confidentiality, Property Settlement Agreements

As a lover of all things Coldplay, I was sad to hear that lead singer Chris Martin and his wife of more than 10 years, Gwyneth Paltrow, were divorcing. Gwyneth Paltrow announced the separation on her website Goop.com and used the term “conscious uncoupling” to describe their approach to divorce.  Although the term had been originally… Continue Reading

Beware the Divorce Litigant Who is Watering the Money Tree With The Tears From Cries of Poverty

Posted in Alimony, Child Support, Counsel Fee Awards, Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues

Often, cases are given nicknames, sometimes by judges and law clerks, and sometimes by the attorneys.  Sometimes the nicknames come from who the people are – for instance, a case we had several years ago where both parties were models became the “model case” at the courthouse.  Sometimes, the names come from something that one or both… Continue Reading

TURKEYS, AND CHRISTMAS TREES, AND MENORAHS…OY VEY

Posted in Divorce, Practice Issues, Visitation/Parenting Time

Ah, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah.  What many people generally consider to be the most important holidays of the year are upon us.  The time of year for being thankful, enjoying good food, football on Thanksgiving or basketball on Christmas, and celebrating with family another year gone by.  After almost eight years, this blog contains so many… Continue Reading

HALLOWEEN FAMILY LAW HORROR STORIES

Posted in Divorce, Practice Issues

Michael Myers’ favorite day of the year is upon us!  Halloween is here and for New Jersey kids that means trick or treating, trunk or treating (a very Jerseyish-type deviation), mischief night (lock up your eggs, shaving cream and toilet paper), costumes, scary stories, horror movies and more.  For me, it provides the perfect opportunity to… Continue Reading